By Carl Strock

Reprinted with permission from the Newsletter of the New England Rug Society, May 1, 1997

The Skinner auction of April 12 held at the Boston gallery was a lively affair, with a good crowd in attendance and an especially large selection of enticing material to bid on -- 279 lots in all.

Collector interest focused on a highly unusual pile bag attributed to Bergama, which was illustrated on a postcard mailed out to promote the sale. The bag consisted of two pieces bound together at the sides -- a plainweave back with a triangular flap-extension done in pile, and a pile front. A bold design in good colors on an ivory ground helped, but rarity more than anything else made this bag desirable. Bidding did not eactly go through the roof for it, however, and it sold for $3,737.50 against a $2,500 to $3,500 estimate. (All prices include the 15% buyer's premium.)

Other items of interest included:

Several other attractive soumak bag faces, lots 92, 155 and 156, went unsold. Yet another, Lot 90, went for a bargain $920.

NERS members were among the bidders -- often successful -- on these and many other handsome pieces in the sale.